A few days ago I commented that two old Trotskyists, Keith Locke and Matt Robson had come out in support of the so-called “Tongan Democracy” Movement.
Well bugger me, here’s a third.
The Alliance Party has joined the growing numbers demanding the Government withdraw New Zealand troops and police from Tonga.
Alliance Party Foreign Affairs spokesman Paul Piesse says it is nonsense for the Prime Minister to say she supports democracy in Tonga, while at the same time sending in “enforcers” to keep anti-democratic forces in power.
“The Alliance rejects the New Zealand Government’s claim that our forces are only in Tonga to ‘maintain law and order’ when the real question is: Whose law and whose order?”
“Clearly the answer is the law and order of the undemocratic feudal regime is being protected. New Zealand forces are backing that regime’s army and police.”
Mr Piesse says New Zealand is in danger of being bully-boys interfering in the internal democratic struggles in the South Pacific.
Now like his mates, Locke and Robson, Paul Piesse was once a member of the Socialist Action League.
In fact the three were very closely aligned and remained so well after leaving the League for the New Labour and Alliance parties. All three had close ties to the Marxist-Leninists of the Australian Democratic Socialist Party, which in turn has maintained a long term interest in the Tongan revolution.
In November 1992, Locke, Robson and Piesse wrote a letter to the DSP’s Green Left Weekly offering condolences on the death of DSP leader, Jim Percy.
We have known Jim since 1970. Since that time we have shared the same socialist vision and supported the same struggles against oppression. Through two decades we kept in contact with Jim and benefited from sharing political ideas and experiences…Jim was with us in our early political development as members of the Socialist Action League in NZ. He was also alongside us when we formed the New Labour Party. He contributed his political ideas and experience to the NLP in a comradely and supportive way. He saw the NLP as a progressive development which could revitalise socialism in NZ and have a positive effect in Australia…We cannot be with you at the funeral of our comrade. However it is a maori tradition to sing at a funeral. We therefore request that when the Internationale is sung that it be recognised that the voices of Jim’s comrades in NZ have also been raised as a final tribute to a respected fighter of the people.
Do I see a pattern here?